Whole Foods Market will open two new stores in 2022 that will incorporate owner Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology.
The two stores – in Washington DC and Sherman Oaks, California – will feature the full complement of natural and organic products and locally sourced options of a conventional Whole Foods Market store but offer the option to skip the checkout line.
Amazon’s Just Walk Out system uses a combination of computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning and is already used in its Amazon Fresh stores across the US.
“Since Whole Foods Market was founded more than 40 years ago, we have focused on finding new ways to surprise and delight our customers and improve the shopping experience,” said John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market.
“By collaborating with Amazon to introduce Just Walk Out Shopping at these two Whole Foods Market stores, our customers will be able to shop for fresh, thoughtfully sourced products that all meet our unparalleled quality standards, receive exceptional service from our Team Members throughout their shopping trip, and save time by skipping the checkout line. We can’t wait for customers to experience this effortless, convenient new way to shop at Whole Foods Market.”
“We’ve heard from customers how much they appreciate the checkout-free shopping experience that Just Walk Out technology offers at both Amazon’s stores and other retailers’ stores,” said Dilip Kumar, vice president, Physical Retail and Technology at Amazon. “I’m excited to see how Whole Foods Market customers enjoy the fast, effortless Just Walk Out Shopping experience that allows them to skip the checkout line at the Glover Park and Sherman Oaks stores when they open.”
Customers at the new Whole Foods stores will not need to be Amazon Prime members or have an Amazon account, but will have to download the Amazon One app. Checkouts will be operation for other customers, the retailer says.
Once inside, customers can “shop like normal”. Anything they take off the shelf is automatically added to their virtual cart, and anything they put back on the shelf comes out of their virtual cart. At the end of their trip, customers simply scan or insert their entry method again to exit. Whole Foods Market Team Members will be present at the entryways and exits to assist customers as they enter and exit the stores.
After customers leave the store, those who use the Just Walk Out experience will receive a digital receipt, which will be available in the Whole Foods Market app. Customers who use self-checkout will receive a paper receipt.